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A cross-sectional survey of UK community pharmacists' views on continuing education and continuing professional development

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Objectives: To investigate pharmacists' attitudes and approaches to continuing education (CE) and continuing professional development (CPD). Methods: A pre-piloted self-administered postal survey was distributed to all registered community pharmacists residing in the counties of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom (n=573). Repeat mailings were conducted after four weeks to non-responders. The survey was divided into five sections representing three themes: understanding of CE and CPD, extent of participation, and attitudes toward CPD. Results: Three-hundred and twelve surveys were received but 41 were unusable, leaving 271 to be analyzed; a usable response rate of 47%. Sixty-one per cent of respondents had a clear understanding of continuing education compared to just 21% (n=58) for CPD, although female respondents had a significantly better understanding of CPD. The Pharmaceutical Journal was the main source used by respondents for their CE/CPD needs. Over three quarters (78%, n=211) of respondents had conducted some CE/CPD in the last 12 months but only 32% completed 30 or more hours CE/CPD as advised by the professional body, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB). Locum pharmacists and proprietors were most likely not to have undertaken any CE/CPD. Competence reassessment was seen as the most appropriate way to address non-compliance with CPD when the RPSGB make it mandatory. Conclusion: There is considerable variation in current levels of understanding and participation in CE and CPD amongst UK community pharmacists that were sampled.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12pp
Number of pages12
JournalThe International Journal of Pharmacy Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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